Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Looking Back Before Looking Foward

I remember the turn of the century, the Y2K scare, the big parties. The BIG 2-0-0-0. I know exactly what I was doing - laying on the couch suffering with depression and a nasty cold. It seemed fitting to be sick on the couch during such a grand event I didn't care to be a part of anyway. Now that this decade is ending, I want to take a quick look back before focusing on the future. Walk with me, if you wish.

(2001) A year later, I had managed to "break the chains" of depression and started living again. After just over 2 years of sleeping, feeling numb and being completely disengaged, I suddenly felt...like I could breathe. (It was weird how it had happened too, like the light switch just flipped on one day.) This year is the year I met Matt. This is the year we moved in together. The year he graduated from college.

(2002) I went back to college. At 30. Enough said.

(2003-2005) My life was completely taken over with studying, tests, books, notes, classes. I was a robot going through the motions of life as a college student. I seem to vaguely recall a few much needed drunken nights after final exams. Matt and I also took our very first big vacation together. We took 8 days in between semesters and visited New Orleans, Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon. It was what I needed before beginning my final year of school.

(2006) We rang in this New Year with a bunch of friends on a Carnival Cruise to Cozumel, Mexico. I don't remember much of this cruise which tells me I had one fantastic time! In May, much to my surprise and relief, I graduated with my Chemical Engineering degree. After graduating, I fell into a funk again. Not as bad as before, but definitely a funk. I had spent the last 4 years running at such a high level of stress, I didn't know what to do with myself. It took me awhile to learn to relax. Matt and I were also unsure of our relationship at this point. School had taken so much of my time over the past few years we weren't sure if we knew each other any longer.

(2007) Matt and I became engaged. Obviously, we worked on our relationship and decided this was the right decision for us.

(2008) Wow! This was an exciting year FULL of changes and new adventures. In February, I interviewed for a new job in Northern Virginia and was told the same day that I got the job. A week later, I was told I had four weeks to get my stuff together and move up to Virginia. In March, I moved 1000 miles away from my fiance one month before our wedding. (Yeh, just a bit frantic) After several flights home for weekend visits, Matt and I married in April. I came back to Virginia to work one last week before we took off for our 3 1/2 week European Honeymoon where we visited parts of Italy, Greece, Monaco and Turkey. I then left my new husband in Florida, moved in with my friend Sarah, worked and waited until July when Matt moved up so we could finally start our married life together. Whew!

(2009) Another exciting year for me. In early January, we bought our first home. A three story town home just minutes from my job. It needed a bit of elbow grease, but once we were done (in October) it was exactly what we wanted. We renovated the kitchen, laid new carpet, painted every square inch and stained/sealed the deck. Also in January, we found ourselves pregnant with our first child. In May we learned the sex of the baby and in early October, we were proud parents of a 9 pound baby girl. We were also lucky enough to spend one month back home in Florida visiting with family and friends and showing off our daughter before I returned to work.

As this decade draws to a close, and I look back over the past 10 years, there isn't one thing I regret. I have a wonderful husband, a healthy and beautiful baby girl, a nice home, a good job, fantastic friends (both far and near) and a loving family. This decade started off gloomy but I wouldn't change a thing. It has made me stronger and grateful for what I have. I can honestly say I'm beginning a new decade happier than I have ever been. I'm looking forward to the changes and challenges 2010 will bring.

Happy New Year!

* If you're lucky and I feel ambitious tomorrow, I'll see what pictures from the past 10 years I can dig up to share with you.

Sunday, December 13, 2009


So, a while back, I mentioned that I was getting a new car in November. I asked for advice and got some very good feedback. Want to know what I got?

I knew the Chrysler could work for us and you all know how I loved my 300. It was safe and sturdy and we could all fit. (We packed it up to the gills and drove it to Florida so I know it could hold some serious stuff!). However, I knew we needed to keep our options open and consider all possibilities. So when my Dad asked me to check out the Dodge Journey, I did. I liked it. It rode nice, was comfortable, had all sorts of neat options and hidden compartments and Matt could actually sit comfortably in it. I knew it would also be good fit for us.

Now I was torn between what I wanted and what I needed. Ultimately, I left the decision up to my Father. He knows what I like (I bought the Chrysler w/o ever laying eyes on it!) and what I'll need, plus the way deals/offers change, I knew he would get me the best deal.

So, what did he get me? One of these. A 2010 Dodge Journey.

This color too, which is a change for me as I realized that all the cars I've ever owned have either been silver or some shade of blue. I've had it for a month now and I'm really pleased with it. Because my Dad was able to get a great deal on this one for me, I was able to get some bonus options that I normally would not be willing to pay for. For instance, remote start is something I'm really enjoying especially
being quite adverse to these cold weather days. It also has dual climate control (there's now a neat little storm front between Matt and I because he likes the cold and I like it toasty), heated front seats, a 30gig harddrive, satellite radio, a USB port to load up music and pictures, and an actual electrical outlet.

We decided to lease this vehicle as it worked in our favor to buy the car at the end of the lease than to buy the car initially. All the options that are on it will make it a nice long term vehicle that I can see myself enjoying for quite a while. And although I miss my 300* , I'm having fun in my bright red crossover Mommy mobile.

* in case you're wondering why I have a strong and weird attachment to the 300-it not only was a really nice and neat car to have, it was also my Dads gift to me for graduating college with my Chemical Engineering degree.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

For Your Viewing Pleasure

The cuteness in chronological order.

Minutes old

Still in the hospital

Gummy grin, finally home

Bee suit cuteyHanging with Mama in Savannah, Ga.

Watching TV with Dad

Singing with Mama


Talkin' to Grandma

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Red Ring of Death

We have an Xbox 360, or I should say we had an Xbox 360. Matt played the thing constantly and we watched the occasional movie on it. Recently, its begun to give us trouble - locking up, screeching noises when the tray opened, it wouldn't read the disks, etc. Last night, it gave us the red ring of death. The end had come.

I was hoping it would give us a few more months before giving up the ghost but it just couldn't hold out with the constant use. I can't complain. We've more than gotten our moneys worth out of that box. It had been lovingly abused for 4 years. I was just hoping we could recoup from having a child and me taking 2 months off before we dished out any money on anything other than necessities. And no, I don't think we need a gaming system. We could surely live with out it however, Matt is home all day with Stella*, keeps the house clean, makes dinner and keeps me straight. That system was his hobby. His break. His "get away from it all" distractor. I couldn't say no.

So now we are the proud owners of a PlayStation 3. And I am enjoying watching my man and our little girl play video games together.

*By the way, he's doing a fan-tab-ulous job as a stay at home Dad - just like I knew he would.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Sleep and Other Quick Updates

Sweeeeeeet! Our 7 week old daughter has begun to sleep through the night.

Oh! Sweet, precious baby, either I am the best Mother or you are taking pity on me.

I'm thinking she is taking pity on me. I'm grateful. I've deemed this a success as it has happened several nights in a row. Either that or she's resting up for an all night cry fest. Keep your fingers crossed this continues.

We'll be back next weekend and I promise to tell you all about it, our new car and plenty of pictures will be posted. Right now, I'm drinkiing beer and eating good food at a tailgate with good friends --- before we head to the stadium to watch the Saints spank my beloved Bucs. I hope for the best.

Until next weekend, my friends.

Thursday, November 12, 2009


Our almost 6 week old infant is now officially wearing 3-6 month clothing. We still have some 0-3 month clothing that fits but not for long. Apparently I have given birth to a fast growing weed.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Not Lost

We're not lost. We have made our way to Florida for the next month to play with friends and family.

We'll be back on here shortly with pictures and stories.
See you soon.

Friday, October 23, 2009


Many years ago, when Matt and I began to date exclusively, I decided to introduce him to my closest friend. This was important to me only because I tended to pick boyfriends on extreme opposite ends of the spectrum. They were either too good or really bad. You know the types, so good you lose interest the next day - borrring - or the type of bad that made you cling to them hopelessly, knowing it was never going anywhere. I figured Matt had to be one or the other and I was too enamored to see it. Sarah was always good at telling me what I didn't want to hear or pointing out what I didn't want to see.
Like the time we went shopping and when I came out of the dressing room sporting this dress that I just loved, she told me to take it off. It looked better on the hanger. You got to love that type of honesty.
I asked Sarah and Gabe over for dinner. I believe, at this point, they had already met Matt at our favorite pub but who can really get to know someone screaming over loud music. I figured a quiet evening at home would open the conversation up a bit. I remember the four of us sitting in my apartment eating dinner around the coffee table - because we were young and poor back then, a dining room table was well beyond our means - hoping they didn't notice any serial killer tendancies or anything else that would make me scurry in the opposite direction. Towards the end of the evening, I quietly asked Gabe what he thought. He liked him. I then asked Sarah what she thought and her exact words were (I'll never forget them because it so wasn't what I was looking for at the time) "You'd make beautiful babies together."

(Choke. Cough. Ahem. Ooooo-kay.)

Moving forward nine years, Matt and I have made a baby together. I'm completely enamored with her. I stare at her all the time. I squeeze her and kiss her and smell her little head. I'm completely amazed that we made something so adorable. So beautiful.
I am in love.
Thanks for the warning Sarah, although it wasn't exactly what I was looking for at the time, you were so right. And no, I'm not biased at all.

In other news, our daughter is growing like a weed. At her 2 week appointment, she's gained 1 full pound and grown almost an entire inch in length when compared to her 1 week appointment. After double checking the measurements, the doctor stated the obvious. "Yep, she's going to be a big girl."

Monday, October 12, 2009

Thoughts On Motherhood

1. I've never worked so hard sitting and rocking in my recliner.

2. Where do belly button stumps go when they fall off? Is there a mythological creature that goes around and collects them? A stump fairy? (I swear, it was there when we last changed her and gone the next time.)

3. How is it such horrible sounds come out of something so adorable.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

I Did This

As you know, I was supposed to be induced on the 30th of September.

Supposed to be.

Matt and I got up early and all ready to go, called the hospital as instructed and was told we were being rescheduled to the 3rd of October due to too many emergencies. The doctor had warned us that though its rare, it happens sometimes. Matt was mad, I was disappointed but ok.

October 3rd, we started all over again. I entered the hospital at 7:30am and was hooked up via IV to Pitocin by 8:00am. This is where the torturous part begins. Waiting. Waiting. Waaaaaaiting. Not a whole lot happened until noon when the doctor decided to break my water. Then, guess what we did - we waited. I didn't expect this to happen quickly but from the time we got started to about 6pm, nothing was happening. I wasn't progressing at all. At 6pm, I finally began to feel some discomfort and asked for an Epidural, thinking this was it.


By 7pm the doctor decided to stop the Pitocin drip for half an hour in hopes that the break then restart would trick my body into getting serious about this birth thing. (HA!) He also mentioned "plan B", which Matt and I figured was doctor-speak for C-Section. (We're smart that way, you know).

7:30pm, we were restarted and hopeful this show would start kicking into high gear. (HA!) Yep, a whole lot of nothing was happening at my 9pm check and the doctor threw out the "plan B" option again.

At 10pm, the doctor checked the readings from my contraction monitor, our other vitals and sat down with us to seriously discuss "plan B". Basically, and obviously, the attempt to push me into labor was going nowhere. I was not responding to the Pitocin and "failing to progress" into active labor. My contractions were spaced about 2 minutes apart, but they were not becoming consistently stronger, and my cervix was showing little progression. Finally, he said my body and the baby was telling him to call it quits. My temperature was rising, her heart rate was rising and the Pitocin levels in my system were too high. We were having a C-Section.


He had to take care of a couple of emergencies first then I would be moved into the operating room. In the meantime, Matt was gowned up and I was prepped. At 12:45am, October 4th, I was wheeled into the O.R. and the final prep went into full swing. Shortly after, with Matt at my head, it began. At 1:08am, almost 18 hours after this adventure began, a beautiful baby girl was pulled into this world. I didn't hear the typical screaming baby, I heard a whimper, then a small cry and more whimpering. She was here. I was happy - exhausted and doped up - but happy.

(Stella, 10/4/2009, 1:08am, 21.5" long, 9.0 lbs)

Matt was the first to hold her while I was still being tended to and one of the very first things I remember him saying to her is "You may not remember this, but I will never forget it." It didn't hit me at the time exactly how sweet that was - I was kind of out of it - but I hope I remember to tell her about it when she is older.

The hospital stay was a looooooooong 4 nights, and we were ready to go home. Very ready. Looking back, I find it funny now - not so much at the time - that there were 800+ nurses coming and going constantly - all saying "get some rest" as they walked out. About 2 minutes before the next person walked in.

We are now home, happy, healthy and settling in - we even have a semblance of a schedule. Here is a picture of Miss Stella just a few moments before leaving the hospital. I leave you with this beautiful face.

(Stella, 3 days old, leaving the hospital)

Friday, September 25, 2009

Eviction Notice Served

Dear Stella,

I don't blame you for getting all warm and comfy in "House o' Mama". You have everything you need - food, water, air, warmth, love, shelter - all your basic necessities. I get it, its a pretty sweet setup. At one point in my early existence, I didn't see a reason to leave either as I was 2 weeks late myself. However, you will not get a chance to be late. In fact, you will not get a chance to be on time. Matt and I, along with my doctor, have decided that you can either come out on your own in the next few days or we will be evicting you on Wednesday.

Why you ask? Well, you're getting big and considering the size of your Daddy and the size of your Aunt & Uncles (at birth and currently), it is very likely that you could work your way up to a hefty weight. One day, you will understand that no woman in the world is interested in birthing a big baby. Also, your Mother is completely done with being pregnant (again, something you'll understand later - much later - in life). There is also the convenience of it, which I admit is selfish and unnecessary however, there is something to be said for being able to plan Grandparent visits* and other various life events.

At my last doctors appointment, he 'squished' you so that he could feel where you were and make sure you were still in the correct position. I take it you didn't appreciate it much as you gave him one heck of a kick back (and this wasn't the first time you showed him your disapproval). He chuckled a bit and said "Well, she's solid.", which your Daddy and I have decided is doctor-speak for huge. With that one statement, I became completely comfortable with this decision.

So, little missy, on Wednesday September 30, I will enter the hospital at 7am, and be hooked to an IV containing a drug that will get this whole experience kick started. We will see you later that day and begin the process of getting to know each other and settling in. That is, of course, if I can pry you out of your Father's arms. We're both excited to meet you but he's wearing that silly grin he gets when something makes him really really happy. (You'll get to know this grin very well)

*Your Grandparents will all be here and I'm pretty sure we will have to protect you from your Grandmothers who both have full intentions of kissing and squeezing the skin right off your little body. I apologize to you in advance - they could not love you more if they tried and you will learn to appreciate it.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


Several weeks ago, I read an article* about the growing trend of couples chosing for the man to be a Stay at Home Husband/Father. There are plenty of articles out there these days as we see more husbands taking on this role however, this article in particular caught my attention as it stated that many professional women lose interest in and respect for their stay at home husbands over time, resulting in divorce.

My first thought was, "How can you say that? This trend hasn't been happening that long."
My second thought was, "Really?"
My third thought was, "Those people are Nuts."
My final thought was, "If it doesn't work for you, make a different decision before you give up on your marriage. Geeeeez!"

I put the article down with the intention to forget it however, it continued to spring into my mind. Today was one of those days that I thought about this article. See, Matt and I have made a similar decision. Though he works, its free lance and he spends most days at home or working from home. He will be the primary caretaker for Stella, and honestly, me with minimal outside care needed. This being said, here's how our week has been so far:

Monday: Matt got up with me in the morning and made my lunch as I am perpetually running late since entering these final weeks of pregnancy and dinner was on the stove when I got home.

Tuesday: Again, Matt made my lunch in the morning, brought my water bottle to me at work (which I forgot, again, I blame the pregnancy), cleaned/vacuumed the house, made dinner in the evening.

Wednesday: Rinse and repeat - my lunch had a homemade chocolate chip cookie in it (Yum!)and the house smelled wonderful when I walked the door this evening

So now I think back to that article and I think, "WHAT? REALLY?!". I don't know how a woman - a professional, educated woman - can not respect a man that can and will take care of her - in a domesticated sense. It makes my head hurt. I love the mess out of him. I have nothing but respect and appreciation for him and I just really really really like him. A lot.

So Honey, I thank you, for taking care of me, keeping track of me and keeping up with the house and cooking. I will try not to be jealous when your attention is diverted, very shortly, from me to Miss Stella. I wouldn't want anyone else in the world taking care of her or us.

*Of course, I can not locate it right now.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Pregnancy Brain

I would normally keep my stupid (aka: pregnant) moments to myself and just continually pick on my dear husband, but that just wouldn't be fair would it? Plus, this one, I have to admit is funny. So here you go, behold my pregnant stupid moment.

Matt and I were watching Jeopardy the other night as we always do when eating dinner. This answer came up: "This Red Hot Chili Pepper bears the name of the capital of French Guiana".
My immediate thought was "Well, what are the names of some different types of peppers?" This is a reasonable thought considering the answer that was given, correct? I mean it made sense to me at least.

What didn't make any sense whatsoever was the question that my brain came back with: Who is Flea? **


That is the question I came up with - Who. is. Flea.? This was the only response that my pregnant brain could spew. Instead of saying Cayenne or Poblano or Jalepeno or Green or any other pepper, my brain says FLEA!

**(For those of you who have no idea who or what I mean by "Flea", I will explain. There is a popular rock band called The Red Hot Chili Peppers. The bassist for this band is called "Flea".)

Go ahead. Point and laugh. I can take it. However in my defense, I knew it wasn't correct I just couldn't get my brain to switch gears because I am very very pregnant.


Saturday, September 12, 2009

The Day Matt Became His Father

Today, we finished painting the shutters on the second floor. It didn't take too long to do but was one of those things that needed to be marked off the list before Stella arrives. About half way through, Matt asks me if we have knee pads anywhere because his knees are right at rung level and are beginning to hurt.

He comes down, goes inside - convinced we have knee pads somewhere. I remained outside when the front door opens suddenly and I see this:

and hear: I knew this day was coming

Me: (???)

Matt: The day I become my Father.

You know those dust masks you can buy at your local hardware store? Yep. That's what he has around his knees. These had just enough padding so he didn't feel the rung of the ladder on his knees. And people, I am ashamed to admit that I allowed him to walk around outside just like this. I'm sure the neighbors are questioning what type of people we are.

Then I realized that one day, Stella is going to see this picture and demand a paternity test because this man just can not be her Father.

Sorry little girl, he's all yours. Learn to deal with it.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

36 Weeks

Yep. You guessed it. It's me again in my housework clothes. This weekend was the finishing of the kitchen. (Stay tuned for pictures) OOOooooo, would you just look at that belly!!! HOLY BABY!

This picture is known as "Done-lop" as in "My belly done-lopped over my belt"- only it forgot to actually lop. I spend a large amount of time pulling the front of my shirt down. I just can't justify buying new maternity shirts for the last 3 weeks. It's just silly.

I also spend quite a bit of time telling her to get out already. I would just LOVE to see my feet again - or better yet, be able to tie my shoes without hurting myself. Oh, and not that I mean to brag but with three weeks left, I've managed to avoid the whole stretch mark thing. Keep your fingers crossed that this remains the case for a few more weeks.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

He's Not Heavy

He's My Brother. **

At least that's what I hope Iddle is saying while Mouse is sitting his fat behind on him. There's a reason Mouse is frequently called "Mouse-loaf", "Chubalicious", "Fat Bastard", "Porter-Mouse" - the list goes on.

Household saying often heard in this house pertaining to Mouse: When he hauls ass, he's got to make two trips!

**(True statement. They are from different litters but the same Mama-cat. Also brothers to Sid & Klaus of the Sarah and the Goon Squad variety)

Alternate Titles:

Does this make my butt look big? or Is there something on my butt?

Monday, August 31, 2009

Thoughts On Pregnancy, 4

1. Yep, lasts forever

2. As an Engineer and a woman, I feel the female anatomy has been poorly designed in relation to pregnancy. I feel it would greatly benefit mankind to re-design the placement of or the materials of construction of the bladder.

3. Really tired of feeling like I really really have to pee, only not really - it's just that poor design thing I mentioned in #2.

4. As exciting and sweet as it is to feel her move around, I can do without the heavyweight boxing match she's having with whatever on my right side has angered her so badly.

5. Is it normal to be bruised from the inside?

6. Those achey parts are multiplying

7. Childbirth classes are very informative however, there are just some things where "ignorance is bliss" applies 100%

8. Those women who just looooove being pregnant need psychiatric care

9. As much as I know I am not and never will be ready for a newborn - I'm ready for this whole pregnancy thing to be over now

10. Did I mention it lasts forever?

Monday, August 24, 2009

From the Mouths of Husbands, Part VI

Scene: Master bedroom where I am changing out of my work clothes; Matt walks in.

Matt: (giggling) Your belly is getting so big.
Me: I know, she's really growing
Matt: It's almost time for another belly picture.
Me: I was thinking we'd do that again when I'm at 36 weeks. I'm only 34.
Matt: But... the camera lens is only so big
Me: (stare)
Matt: I can only zoom out so far
Me: (stare)
Matt: I can only back up so far
Me: (stare)
Matt: (walking out of the room, still giggling) Aahhhh, I crack me up.

If he wasn't so damn cute, he'd be in trouble.
Also, he may be right.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

From the Mouths of Husbands, Part V

These days, I resemble a beach ball with legs and arms. I feel a lot like it too. After work, this beach ball plops on the couch with no intention of moving ever again. Ever. Said beach ball is wearing me out.

Many of these "plop on the couch" nights, when it's time for bed, Matt has to help me up to at least the sitting position. Even if I had the energy, I can barely maneuver to the sitting position from a supine position.

So, last night, I tried to sit up on my own and Matt laughed at me. What was so funny?

He said, "You look like an over turned turtle with arms and legs flailing in the air".

He may be right but he was in so much trouble and I yelled at him right after I finished giggling.
Silly silly boy. Hmph.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

See Anything Unusual?

Just wondering if anything strikes you as odd and what your thoughts are because, you know, I find something out of the ordinary here. Just wondering if it's just me.

Monday, August 10, 2009

32 and Counting Plus Stuff

32 week belly picture:

To me, this picture looks very similar to the last belly picture I posted. Only this time, I'm in my house working (aka: deck sealing, shutter painting and grass cutting) clothes. The doctor has assured me that my belly has grown right on track and will continue to grow. You may not be able to tell in this picture but, boy oh boy, I feel it and the poor earphones I use to place on my belly at night to introduce her to various types of music and lullabies are on the verge of raising the white flag of surrender.

She's a wiggle worm, there isn't much kicking these days as there is fidgeting. I frequently call her "Squirmy McSquirmison" because it really feels like something is squirming under my skin. And let me tell you about attitude. She's got plenty and makes no bones about what she does or doesn't like.

Matt and I have signed up for classes at the hospial. Birthing class, breastfeeding, baby making (oh wait - I think we may have mastered this one), and of course, the all important facility tour. The tour, to me, is the most important. Matt, for all his fantastic qualities and the many reasons I married him, is directionally challenged. I can just see him getting lost for a half hour or so when I've just sent him down the hall.

I still haven't cried "Uncle" at work yet but last week was much easier than the previous few weeks. I'm hanging in there and my bosses have given me the "just say the word and we'll do whatever you need" talk so that is encouraging. My swelling days are few and not that bad; my breathing is hit or miss. I've also found out that my maternity leave will be covered under Short Term Disability so I will receive 2/3 of my pay while we are resting and healing. BONUS! That makes the old wallet breathe a little easier.

Speaking of maternity leave, shortly after she makes her arrival, Matt and I will be packing up the car and heading home. I'm not looking forward to the drive however I am looking forward to going home for several weeks to spend time with family, friends and warm weather. The primary reason we are going home is to trade in my leased car and pick up a new one. I've decided to get a newer version of the car I currently lease (Chrysler 300). We are going to take our time getting there , stopping along the way to visit friends in North Carolina and spend a few days in Savannah, Georgia - if for no other reason than to give us a chance to rest just in case. I have no idea how this will go with a newborn. We may be crazy for even trying this or it may work out fine. I guess we're going to find out.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009


I just looked at Matt and said "Eight more weeks."

Then I heard what I said.
Then I realized what it meant.

...stunned blinking...

Then I yelled, "HOLY CRAP EIGHT! EIGHT!" and peed a little.

Now, excuse me while I go catch my breath and find my heart.
It's on the floor, somewhere, along with my chin.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Occasional Indulgence

For the past several years, Matt, his brother and a few friends have taken off for a long weekend of fun in Las Vegas. I call it "The Boy Weekend" and this past weekend was it. Matt was surprised that I supported him going this year with a baby due in 2 months, but my thinking was, why not?
  • So far so good in the pregnancy and there's no way to know what or if anything will happen,
  • we don't know what next year will bring us (we've always handled this trip on a year by year basis),
  • I believe that boys need some time to be boys away from their significant others and
  • I enjoy this weekend too.

You see, I get to sleep in the middle of a king size bed by myself, I get unchallenged control of the remote, there's no "we have to do" or "we have to get" and - this is my favorite part - I get to rediscover all my favorite comfort foods.

I can cook and yes, I probably should, but I'm not going to. I'm tired at the end of the day and I just don't feel like it. I won't even mention the fact that I'm completely spoiled with Matt making dinner for me most nights. I can readily admit this.

So, what are my favorite comfort foods? You know what they are - the ones that got you through the first years out on your own, got you through college, the things you grabbed after a night of drinking, the only thing you could afford or knew how to make yourself. Mine were Kraft Mac & Cheese, Totino's party pizza, chicken strips and last but not least, the good ol' PBJ.

Are they good? Debateable.
Are they good for me? Probably not.
Are they still yummy in a nostalgic way? Absolutely!

I love them and look forward to them every year - for just a few days. Because that's all I can handle.

What are your secret comfort foods?

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Stella's Room

When we realized we were pregnant, we knew immediately which room was going to be for the baby. I also immediately knew that I didn't want a true baby nursery, I didn't want to spend a ton of money (college is expensive, you know) and I definitely didn't want a boy/girl only room. I wanted a kids room that is easy/cheap to change when she starts getting mouthy about what she does or doesn't want.

SO! This is what we did:

==Neutral creamy paint that was used in the majority of the house

==Grandma L bought the crib which converts to a toddler bed, day bed then a full size bed

==The dresser came from Target for a $100

==Grandma P made the quilt hanging above the crib (her masterpiece, the woman has mad skills)

==Lamp came from Ikea (LOVE IKEA)

==A friends Mom made the quilt above the dresser

==The toy chest was mine as a child

==The puppy picture was a cross-stitch made by us

==Everything else was laying around the house

==The kitties on the wall were stencils we found at a craft store and for minimal money/effort, we gave the room a touch of girlness

Friday, July 24, 2009

Crying Uncle

Remember the post where I said "I never know what part of my body is going to ache"? Now remember the post where I mentioned my flat feet?

Yeh - I know what part of me is going to ache consistently now. Maybe ache is not the correct word - extreme pain may be a better description. I've had a toothache that didn't hurt as bad as my feet hurt at the end of the day.

I've been hell-bent during this pregnancy to remain as active as I physically can. I think it is very important to my health - physical, mental and emotional. This is especially true at work. I don't like to be stuck at my desk. (Borrrrr-ing) I don't like to feel like I can't do my job, or that anyone needs to pick up tasks that I can't or haven't done. Sure, there are co-workers that can easily step in and help but we all have very full plates and do our best to just keep up. I don't wish to lay any extra work on anyone until I absolutely have to. I prefer to be "business as usual" for as long as I possibly can.

The past few weeks at work have been brutal. This past week in particular. Its been non-stop which I would normally welcome as it makes for a quick work week however this past week felt a lot like forever. I typically work 10-12 hour days of which usually half of 2 or 3 days are spent on my feet. Except this past week where I can say most of every day has found me standing or running from one spot to the next.

Friday was the worst! By the time I made it back to my desk to tidy up, shoot off a few emails and make a few phone calls, I knew my feet were going to be a problem. The thought of walking from my desk to my car made me want to cry. Along with the horrible foot pain, my feet and hands are beginning to swell, my breathing is becoming more difficult and the constant headaches are back - new and improved. (I now feel like the right side of my head is on fire - BONUS!) I know now that it will not be long before I have to slow down.

Will it be this week? Probably not. I will just continue to whine to my cube-mate (poor guy, he has to deal with me everyday. He may be a Saint. Thanks and sorry Ben) Based on the pages and calls I've recieved this weekend, I've got another rough week ahead of me. I actually look forward to it - oddly. I like the pressure, it's a strange drug for me, but its coming. Sooner or later, I will be crying uncle.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Weekend Work

Our weekend was dictated by house work.

I know I've said this before but we are very, very slowy nearing the end of work that was on our list of things to do when we bought this place in January. I'm pleased with it and proud of our work. It's turning into a cozy first home and we've learned a lot about home repair, upkeep and what we can and can't do. Thank you internet for being the great keeper of all things DIY.

This weekend the deck was our chosen victim. The deck was in desperate need of attention. If nothing else, it needed a good scrub and protectant seal. We decided to go the extra step and give it some color too. Matt pressure washed it earlier in the week so that we could stain it this weekend. It was a long day but we are so pleased with the results. See for yourself.

Yes, this deck had been cleaned and was looking gooooood. Can you imagine what it look liked before? You can see the very beginning of the staining.

It was a long hard weekend and we were wiped out. Now we have to give it a really good seal. One more weekend of deck work then on to the shutters. Who feels like painting the shutters?


Thursday, July 16, 2009

Headlines That Make You Go "Huh?!


Yup. Apparently this is breaking news.
I kid you not, people. Go check it out yourselves.


I have ALL sorts of things to say about this.
1. Really? This is CNN news worthy?
2. Wait - this is just plain old news worthy?
3. Who did this reporter anger enough to get this story?
4. Did the reporter just say "switched sides"?
5. Penguin stalking?
6. How do we know they are/were gay? Maybe they were just good friends/room mates until a "lady penguin" became available? (and Pepper lost the coin toss)
7. You've got to feel sorry for Pepper
8. Finally and sadly, you just know some ignorant jerk is going to point to this story and say to their child, "See, if a penguin can change his mind and go straight, you can too. This proves that this is a lifestyle choice." or something equally devastating to a young person struggling to be who they are with parents/family/friends that are unaccepting.

Feel free to share your thoughts on this story.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

On Class

No, don't be silly. I'm not trying to be classy or more refined, I gave up on that years ago.

What I'm talking about are those classes you are offered in your third trimester by the hospital. Like childbirth, baby care and breastfeeding classes. I realize we're all going to have different experiences and needs as well as "educational levels" - if there is such a thing - when it comes to baby stuff but what were your experiences with them? Are they worth the money and time?

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Thoughts On Pregnancy, 3

Its weird to see the inside of my own belly button
I didn't know my belly button could do that
She thinks its fun to kick the belly button
The belly button is not an escape hatch, I promise
Bending over is hard, it cramps her space
Eating also cramps her space - mine too
I'm pretty sure I'm giving birth to Stewie
She's taken to 'running' in circles in there (I think she has her own track)
Being tickled from the inside is weird
Pregnancy weight is really bad for someone with flat feet
The sweetest thing I've ever seen is Matt laying his head on my belly, talking and humming to her, telling her he loves her and kissing her.

The funniest thing ever is after all that affection, she kicks him in the head.
(Heh - she is totally my daughter and we are in SO much trouble.)

BEHOLD - the 28 week belly picture! **

** Ok, so I'm not all dolled up for this photo op. Give me a break people, I just entered my third trimester, its the weekend and I'm in my comfy clothes. What do you expect?

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

One Reason My Husband Needs Me

His inability to open and peel a banana without breaking it in half.**
I don't know how he does it, but it throws us into a fit of giggles every time.

You should witness his inability to use a pair of scissors which he says are purely the fault of the scissors in this house only.

**If you try to do this by purpose, its difficult to do so cleanly.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Oh Say Can You See

Matt and I have planned a weekend away this weekend. It's not very far away, but its a chance to detach from the house, the cats, work and responsibilities for a couple of days and enjoy each others' company without feeling guilty for not working on the house and before Stella makes her arrival.

Where are we going you ask? Washington DC.

Don't we live just outside of DC? Why yes, yes we do.

Um? Yes, I know - but we never go to DC. We always talk about it but never do.

This year, after hearing so much about the awesome fireworks show, I decided (completely spontaneously last weekend***) that we were going to get a hotel room in downtown DC for Friday & Saturday nights and enjoy ourselves. We're not making any plans, schedules or reservations. Our only goal is to watch fireworks, enjoy ourselves and relax with each other. However, if you have any suggestions of things we should see or restaurants we just have to try, please feel free to let us know about it.

I'm ready for the weekend. Now if only I could have a beer. Or three.

***My Mom works for Marriott and I get family discounts. When I made the call, I thought for sure they would be completely booked and my spontaneous plans would be dashed. I was pleasantly surprised.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Hooked Up

Do you know whats better than getting free random stuff?
Getting free baby stuff.

Do you want to know who is the coolest person in the world?
The person giving away free baby stuff.

Thanks Lumpyheads Mom! Feel free to unload baby stuff on me any time.

(Seriously, WOW! Thank you.)

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The Downward Spiral Continues

Should I be concerned about Matt or should I feel sorry for this video game character?

Sunday, June 21, 2009

From the Mouths of Husbands, Part IV

(While shopping for car seats)

Me: Do you want to get the second base?
Matt: (with a twinkle in his eye) I would LOVE to get to second base, baby.
Me: (Sigh)

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Who is That?

It's no secret that Matt loves his XBOX 360. In fact, sometimes I think he loves it too much. I don't say much about it though, I like to watch him play.

Recently, a new game came in the mail (we rent them) and he excitedly loaded it into the console. He began to create his character which I usually don't pay much attention to however, the giggling coming from the big green comfy chair was just too much.

I looked up at the TV and witnessed this. ***

***I always thought he created his characters in these games based on his perception of himself (or maybe thats just what I would have done). It looks like Matt and I need to have a little talk about body image and self respect.

(The last one he unwisely proclaimed, "Look Honey, I gave him your tummy." Hmph.)

Saturday, June 13, 2009


Lesson learned.
Do not become distracted while changing clothes and leave the dresser drawer open. A "guest" will find it a suitable napping place.

Thanks for furr-ing that up for me Roscoe - I didn't just wash that or anything.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Thoughts On Pregnancy, 2

1. Pregnancy is interesting, I never know what part of me is going to ache from one day to the next.
2. I didn't know my belly could get this big. Wait. How much further do I have to go? D'OH!
3. Parts of me are "vanishing", I'm pretty sure there are feet attached to those toes.
4. Heh. Finally! Something makes my chest look smaller.
5. Stairs suck.
6. Falling down the stairs sucks more. (especially when the big toe attached to that vanishing foot is injured)
7. Being kicked from the inside is really cool and kind of weird.
8. Being kicked from the inside is something I could never explain to anyone who hasn't experienced it.
9. Watching the expression on Matt's face when he finally felt her kick was priceless - after he realized I didn't have the hiccups.
10. HOLY COW - I'M GROWING SOMETHING! Don't you people know my plants die within moments of coming into my care.
11. I'm pretty sure this pregnancy is progressing without all the "side effects" that are usually associated with being pregnant to lure me into a false sense of security when it comes time for Pregnancy 2.0.

Thursday, May 28, 2009


This evening during dinner conversation with Matt, he mentioned a book he wants to read. I instantly became envious of this desire and made the comment "I wish I could read". Which he replied "What? Did you forget how"?



Unfortunately, I have not been able to read but a few books in their entirety over the past several years. There was a time I would devour most anything someone put in front of me but I seem to have lost my reading "groove". I miss it and wish I could find the spark again.

I've tried many different authors and genres thinking my tastes had changed. I've tried forcing myself to keep going but always end up quitting half way through once I realized that I'd seen the words but hadn't paid attention to what they were saying and was hopelessly lost. I've tried reading in bed, on the weekends, in a different room from my husband, outside, rainy days only, etc. I'm at a loss.

I would really like to reacquaint myself with my old friend but have run out of ideas. Do you have any suggestions?

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Karate Kick

Dear Stella,

It's amazing how you have gone from being quiet and unnoticed (aside from my expanding belly) to training for the Olympics. HOLY KICK! I had heard that I would initially feel you as a flutter, like butterflies. Either I missed it or you went straight for the karate kick. Considering you have half my genetic code, you probably went straight for the kick. If this is any indication of our future relationship, and you have truly taken after me, you madam, are grounded. Call it a preemptive grounding and I'm beginning the "ruining of your life" early. You and I have a long way to go and whether you know it or not, you have plenty to time to train for the Olympics, now is not it.


P.S. You should really let your Daddy feel you kick sometime. Every time he puts his hand on my belly, you stop moving. I'm sure some people would say he has a calming effect on you. I think you're just being a little stinker already. I'm on to you little girl.

Monday, May 25, 2009

From the Mouths of Husbands, Part III

Matt: (rubbing my tummy) Is Stella craving brownies?
Me: Um. No.
Matt: Oh. It must be me then.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Little One

Dear Little One,

When I found out I was pregnant, I demanded it be a boy. There was never a question in my mind, it just had to be a boy. What was I going to do with a girl? I've never been real good at being a one myself.

As our Ultrasound date approached, I began to brace myself for and come to terms with the words "It's a girl". I was worried that I would be disappointed and so was Matt. I didn't want to feel that way. I had to be okay with those few words.

Today, we saw your legs, arms, fingers, toes, belly, bones, and nose. Even your beating heart and other organs. There were measurements taken and pictures printed. Everything is right where it should be and looks perfectly healthy. A little on the long side perhaps but considering your Dad is a mere 6'6" in height, I had already planned on having a long baby.

Then I saw your face and it no longer mattered what your secret parts were. If you were a boy, we would do boy things then cuddle when you were sure that no one was watching. (I won't tell, I promise) If you were a girl, you could be my tom-boy and climb trees with a pink ribbon in your hair. It no longer mattered to me.

The Ultrasound tech said the words, "It's a girl" and I smiled. I wasn't disappointed, I was happy. You have the sweetest face, with my nose. You are already sleeping just like your Daddy with your hands behind your head. Your name will be Stella Maris. We love that name. We love you.


P.S. If you chose to be a ribbons and lace type of girl, I ask for your patience, understanding and forgiveness if I woefully fail to live up to your expectations - your Momma preferred climbing trees to playing with dolls.